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Servin vs. Espinoza at Celebrity, Next Up For GGG?

Arizona Boxing News & Notes with Don Smith – Boxing Fans, Arizona flyweights Luis Espinoza (8-0-3 knockouts) and Adrian (“Sharkey” Servin (5-0-1-2 knockouts) fought each other 6 times as amateurs culminating in a 3-3 draw after their last amateur battle.  On April 28, the two young professional flyweights will meet at the Celebrity Theatre in Phoenix to battle 6 rounds with the winner laying claim to the vacant ABO Youth Super Flyweight title. The undercard will feature several popular local fighters including Adam Steward, Eben Vargas

According to fans that emailed or called; both boxers laid an egg in their last performances. Servin was lucky to get a draw according to 2 respected trainers who contacted our assignment desk. I was out of out of town for their last fight date; but, I am aware of the skills Servin and Espinosa carry and if they deliver their best, it should be a great 6 round contest and a sellout for Promoter Iron Boy Promotions. After watching the Castro/Santiago title bout at the Celebrity Theatre in Phoenix; this ne should bring down the house! ABNN will comment on the full card, next issue.

The ABO was incorporated October 12, 2014 in the heartland of America, Illinois. The mission statement: “We advocate for all fighters.  Arizona’s Abel Ramos is a former ABO Champion who relinquished he title last year.  Tickets for Iron Boy 44 are available at the Celebrity Theatre and online.

Next Up For GGG? Within minutes after Saul “Canelo” Alvarez withdrew from his highly anticipated May 5 Cinco de Mayo weekend fight with GGG in Las Vegas; fans, writers and everyone but the late James Hoffa is venturing a guess as to who will replace Canelo opposite Golovkin if there is a substitute bout.


It was sensible and morally correct for the Mexican superstar to withdraw. Few people that I know believe he could have eaten contaminated meat and tested positive twice in February of this year for Clenbuterol, a banned substance sometimes used by athletes to drop body fat and weight. And even fewer people thought he deserved a draw in their first go around.

So where does his departure leave the status of the fight and what does the withdrawal of Canelo do to his career?  As for Alvarez (49-1-2) it means a lost paycheck that he will recoup if he fights Golovkin later this year or next year. Canelo is Canelo and his fans will never abandon him even he sets a fire at the door steps of the revered Metropolitan Cathedral in Mexico City during Easter Sunday Mass as worshipers pass by!

Here is a list of rumored fighters that might replace Canelo if the city of Las Vegas and the Nevada Athletic Commission is able settle on  a crowd pleasing foe for Gennady Golovkin (37-0-1).

Gary “Spike” Sullivan: a 33 year old Irishman with record 27-2-19 knockouts. Sullivan’s 2 losses came at the hands of Chris Eubanks JR and Billy Joe Saunders. Gilberto Ramirez: WBO defending champion (36-0) would have to agree to fight at 162-164 and that might be hard since he had trouble defending his title at 168 in Corpus Christi. He is Mexican and his heritage could gives him a fan advantage for Cinco de Mayo weekend. Billy Joe Saunders: 28 year old British citizen is the current WBO middleweight champion who continues to surprise experts that thought his hold on the belt would be short lived. He is an excellent boxer, very deceptive. Demetrius Andrade : 30 year old former Super Welterweight Champion (25-0-16) American from Rhode Island. Our brain trust describes Andrade as boring to watch; so, he is a long shot at best. Jermall Charlo: Interesting choice! The 27 year old   undefeated (26-0) fighter from Texas is exciting to watch but he fights in Brooklyn for the WBC Interim Middleweight title on April 21; so, he is out. Our 2 favorites are Ramirez and Billy Joe Saunders with Ramirez deserving a chance to be in the dance.

Boxing Notes: Sorry to hear that at least 2 Arizona boxers are caught in the cross hairs of political chicanery. Yes, they’re members of the “Dreamers”sect, undocumented kids who were brought to this country by their parents as children.

According to a story published in USA Today earlier this year, the total number of undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children is estimated at 3.6 million.

In a separate category, 800,000 young immigrants were accepted into the President Obama –era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival program aka DACA program. In 2001, the DREAM Act was proposed in Congress but never passed. If passed, it would protect that group.

The issue has become a hot potato and even more so with the advent of the Trump Administration in 2017. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and President Trump take a different view on immigrant policy than President Obama and this change in political posture has made DREAMERS apprehensive because the majority party controlling both houses and the White House is the Republican Party. And despite several polls that suggests n overwhelming majority of Americans support the DACA Program, Congress doesn’t appear ready to vote on a solution. 

Meanwhile, the Justice Department is hiring more Immigrant & Custom Enforcement (I.C.E.) agents and nervous DREAMERS feel they’re becoming targets and some parents of DREAMERS have already been deported; according to published reports.

As for the 2 Arizona boxers fearful of deportation; one was cited for driving under influence and the other was involved in a minor traffic accident resulting in no bodily injury to either driver.

Both young men arrived in the USA with their parents at toddler age. We were told by friends of both men that a search for the two fighters is in effect and it isn’t a request for tickets to their next fight if that ever happens.

In our opinion justice isn’t rightfully served by pursuing adults who came to this country while under the age of accountability. We are talking about kids who grew up in this country and contributed including serving in our armed forces. It is our sincere wish that the Dream Act will finally receive an up or down vote in the U.S. Congress as requested, years ago.

Loose Notes: Azteca Boxing Club boasts 2 # 1 ranked amateurs boxers: 14 year old Jameel Maldonado at 75 lbs. and 11-12 year old Andrew Corona   70 lb. wt. class. Coach Jose was eager to tout his pro prospect 19 year old lightweight Osvaldo Hernandez (2-0) winning both contests in Mexico.  Hernandez is tentatively scheduled to fight in Hermosillo, Mexico on 4/21 unless he can catch a bout on the Iron Boy #44 card at the Celebrity Theatre on 4/28…….USA Boxing Arizona official Jerry Grimes is retiring after this year. He told me 30 years is enough? I hope he gets a shot to referee a professional bout, his lifelong team. It has been rumored that Former Arizona Boxing Executive Director Matthew Valenzuela had a hang-up over Grimes wearing his patented ponytail in the ring and the feisty Grimes refused to cut it so he hasn’t worked the ring in a professional setting. . ……Phoenix Middleweight Andrew Hernandez is in Las Vegas working with former World Champion and Olympic medalist Joel Casamayor at the popular City Athletic Boxing Gym. He recently told ABNN, Casamayor is working on his defense; described as porous in his last 3 fights (0-3). Hernandez reiterated that he wants to fight Albert Onolunose next and then David Lemieux. Both proposed foes reside in Canada. Hernandez has a 2-0 record in Canada. At age 31, the Phoenix pugilist aka “Hurricane” knows the clock isn’t on his side to win a world championship; but, he remains optimistic…..most boxing critics covering the Parker/Joshua heavyweight title bout on Saturday March 31 (ShowTime) gave Joshua a poor grade after evaluating his 12 rounds of work against Parker. I talked to a number of boxing fans who told me that Joshua, based on his 3/31performnce, would lose to Wilder, a mentally and physically rejuvenated Tyson Fury and Dillian Whyte, a rising star in the heavyweight division….Walt Hoskins Boxing is taking 5-7 kids to the Salvation Army Smoker at the Kroc Center on Broadway Road in Phoenix on Saturday April 21. Several boxing fans share the opinion that the SA hosted smokers are a role model for others to follow.  Azteca Boxing, Grind Boxing, Walt Hoskins Boxing and Hammer boxing will compete at the event. For more details call 602-425-5000…Tucson super lightweight favorite Christopher Gonzalez (1-0) has been added to the Iron Boy card at the Celebrity Theatre in Phoenix on April 21.Chris has been sparring with welterweight contender Abel Ramos (18-2-2) who will fight in Minneapolis versus Jamal James (22-1) on Friday April 13…..6 time world champion Michael Carbajal predicts Mikey Garcia will stop Vasyl Lomachenko within 5 rounds if the two fighters meet in the ring. ABNN asked 15 men and women in the boxing industry who would win if the two fought and the tally was 8 for Lomachenko and 7 for Mikey Garcia.

Welcome Back: Super Middleweight Champion David Benavidez and his brother former world super lightweight champion will be in Phoenix on June 14 (subject to change) at Amigo Meats in Phoenix commencing at 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. The popular brothers will be passing out T shirts, greeting fans, posing for photos and publicizing their upcoming fights. David (20-0-17 knockouts) will face Russian Matt Korobov (28-1-14 knockouts). His only loss was a knockout delivered by Andy Lee who retired earlier this year. At stake is David’s title and the bout will be the co-main feature on the Errol Spence fight card in Dallas Texas.

Brother Jose continues his miraculous comeback in Las Vegas (May 26) on the Jerwin Ancijas Flyweight title card on May 26 in Las Vegas. More details on all three events in our next issue  The meet and greet in Phoenix will give the city to chance to finally celebrate David’s Championship and Jose’s remarkable comeback. The city will be pumped.

Mail Bag: When Promoter/matchmaker Peter McKinn III isn’t afraid to offer his opinion and last week he sent 2 emails. The first one addressed the hunt to replace Juan Estrada Executive Director of the Arizona Boxing/MMA Commission and his second comment addresses the temporary ban on Canelo, a moot point since Alvarez decided to withdraw from the contest. The first one is addressed to Aiden Fleming, Asst. Arizona Gaming Department and the second one is addressed to Arizona Boxing News & Notes.

(1) Mr. Fleming,

You guys have one shot to get it right and Mike Sanchez, a respected Arizona boxing figure, is the only quality person in Arizona with a clean background to bring boxing back to respectability and answer the phone with in-depth and correct answers. I know everyone in the state  and the majority of the other applicants are really bad actors who aren’t qualified….Peter McKinn

(2) ABNN Editor,

The question that should been asked of the Nevada Athletic Commission before the organization placed a temporary suspension on Mr. Alvarez is the following: did Canelo submit all of his medicals and is he licensed to fight this year(2018). The reason I ask ….you can’t suspend any NON-LICENSED fighters in Nevada, period!…..Peter McKinn III

Many Thanks: I recently celebrated my birthday and I want to thank the multitude of people who wished me the best. I can’t thank everybody by name but a special thanks to Karla, Tom, Geoff, Ricky, Peter, Andrew, Jacque, Rigo and Ruby Tuesday General Manager Alfredo Ramos in Avondale for a scrumptious lunch.

Manny Split: It came as no surprise when boxing icon Manny Pacquiao decided to continue fighting. He wants to go out a champion and if he defeats WBA welterweight Champion Lucas Matthysse when the 2 meet on July 14 (July 15 Manila time) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

There is a bit of controversy over the announcement!  According to Oscar De La Hoya (Golden Boy CEO and Matthysse Promoter) the deal is signed sealed and delivered. Bob Arum (Top Rank CEO) was Manny’s promoter and the 86 year old Hall of Fame Promoter believes he still is. Arum, a skilled attorney, may take Golden Boy and Pacquiao to court. In addition to moving away from Top Rank, Pacquiao also replaced longtime trainer Freddie Roach with trainer/friend Bubby Fernandez. The switch of trainers probably doesn’t mean much since Pacquiao is capable of training himself. If Arum decides to take his former client to court,; that could be the fight of the century. ABNN will follow the situation; Top Rank was sent an email asking if TR would contest the controversy and we are hoping for a reply….Until Next Time!


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